Businesses don’t double in size, profits don’t exponentially grow, teams don’t magically start performing, and owners don’t experience massive shifts in their sense of wellbeing and confidence due to new tactics, being coached, reading books, or attending seminars.

Huge breakthroughs come when you, and your leadership team, create shifts in your thinking about the company, themselves, and the market they serve. So how do we switch these lights on in both ourselves and others?

The flash of the obvious.

I read a tweet yesterday that said, “In all honesty, have you ever changed your mind about anything important based on a Social Media post?”. In my case, I think probably not. What about you?

We change our mind about lots of things from moment to moment as new information and insights become available. But what about the game-changing shifts that come when you see yourself and the world differently in ways that present whole new levels of potential and possibility to you?

When was the last time you experienced a shift so profound that whatever was difficult became easy or where some new understanding, potential or answer popped out of nowhere?

Where do seismic flashes of inspiration come from?

The single most significant shift for me was when my mother died some quarter of a century ago. Her death woke me up to the time-limited nature of life and made me realise I just hadn’t been playing the game at full tilt. The change in me was immediate and required no effort on my part. It was profound enough to catch the attention of everyone around me as I began to show up in different ways and embark on projects that no one could have predicted I would undertake.

Ideally, if we aren’t achieving the type of experience and outcomes we want from our businesses, we want to create these shifts without any attendant trauma.

The search for the source of these significant shifts.

My search first started when one of my clients told me he had decided to acquire another business, doubling the size of his existing one. As his Business Coach, I was curious about this for two reasons:

1: He insisted I had somehow been involved in him being able to make this decision confidently.

2: We had never seriously discussed acquisition as a potential growth strategy for his company.

Since that moment, I have tested and applied many different approaches to creating these huge mental performance breakthroughs. At times it has seemed that the catalysts for individuals to change were so unique and personal that there were no common threads to yank on; no uniform approach looked viable (not great news if you want to help lots of people).

There are just three ways to enable any of us to shift how we show up and perform dramatically.

1. A principle is explained to us in a way that creates a profound shift (in what I often refer to as the ‘percolation effect’ where a change happens without you realising how or where it came from). This tends to shift our perspectives permanently and instantly.

2. Spending time exploring the source of specific beliefs and attitudes that hold us back from showing our full potential and reframing them in practical and empowering ways.

3. Taking action (often in the face of internal resistance) and then deeply reflecting on the approach we took and the outcomes we attained.

The tricky bit is that the combination of words and deeds required to make the light bulb go off is unique to each of us. For transformation to effortlessly occur, we must not only see ourselves and the world around us differently, but we must embody that new position.

If we want to affect a massive shift in anyone’s performance, we must find the unique blend and combination of these three approaches that work for them.

This has presented me with a design challenge that I have only recently overcome. The experiences I now design for my clients always combine an understanding of the commercial/psychological principles, personal discovery, ‘in the field’ application and feedback.

Put simply, all three approaches are combined into one experience so that the breakthroughs are guaranteed to come.